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Honors to Eileithyia at Ancient Inatos The Sacred Cave at Tsoutsouros, Crete: Highlights of the Collection


Athanasia Kanta, Costis Davaras†, and Philip P. Betancourt, eds. 

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In 1962, after a period of secret looting, the location of a shrine for the Greek Goddess Eileithyia was discovered by the police in south-central Crete at the modern town of Tsoutsouros, ancient Inatos. The cave dedicated to this ancient goddess of childbirth and motherhood was excavated that year by Nikolaos Platon and Costis Davaras on behalf of the Archaeological Museum in Herakleion. It was filled with remarkable votive gifts including over 100 items of gold along with Egyptian figurines and seal stones, bronze objects, and hundreds of clay figurines. The dates of the shrine’s use extended from before 2000 B.C. to the Roman Imperial period. Many of the clay images are especially appropriate for this deity because they include pregnant women, embracing couples, figures in preparation for childbirth, mothers holding babies, and a young child in its crib. A Greek language book highlighting the shrine and its major discoveries is now translated into English. It provides images, catalog entries, and explanatory texts for the most important discoveries from this unique shrine.

Contents: Frontmatter. 1. History of the Excavation and Research on the Cave. 2. Note on Topography and History. 3. The Excavation of the Inatos (Tsoutsouros) Cave. 4. Encomium to Eileithyia. 5. Worship of Eileithyia in the Inatos Cave. 6. The Goddess Eileithyia in the Knossian Linear B Tablets. 7. A Linear A Inscription from the Cave (INA Zb 1). 8. Selection of Pottery from the Cave. 9. Pottery of the Roman Period. 10. Figurines and Models. 11. Double Axes. 12. Minor Objects, Jewelry, and Copper or Copper Alloy Bowls. 13. Votive Offerings of Egyptian Type. 14. Catalog of Selected Artifacts of Egyptian Type. References. Index.

Hardback: 156 pp., 15 figures, 26 plates, 3 tables.
(INSTAP Academic Press, 2022)

ISBN 978-1-931534-31-4

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